Monday, November 12, 2012

Big Switch Ships its Open SDN

Big Switch, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California, announced the full commercial release of its Open Software-Defined Networking (SDN) product suite, encompassing a Big Network Controller (BNC), the Open SDN platform for network applications which scales to more than a thousand switches and 250,000 new host connections per second; Big Tap, a unified network monitoring application which provides cost-effective enterprise-wide network visibility; and Big Virtual Switch (BVS), a data center network virtualization application that makes the data center network as agile and dynamic as cloud compute resources, while also driving dramatic increases in compute utilization through automated network provisioning. 

Compared to other SDN approaches, Big Switch said its architecture is distinguished by its large ecosystem of physical and hypervisor switch, security, cloud orchestration and application partners. These include: A10 Networks, Arista Networks, Broadcom, Brocade, Canonical, Cariden Technologies, Citrix, Cloudscaling, Coraid, Dell, Endace, Extreme Networks, F5, Fortinet, Gigamon, Infoblox, Juniper Networks, Mellanox Technologies, Microsoft, Mirantis, Nebula, Palo Alto Networks, Piston Cloud Computing, Radware, StackOps, ThreatSTOP, and vArmour.  

Big Switch's vision is to focus on open APIs, open standards, and platform-independence with the goal of transforming the network from the seven-layer OSI model to a simpler SDN model with a data layer, a controller layer and an application layer.  Significantly, the company said its solutions will operated in pure SDN mode, as an SDN overlay to an existing network, or in a hybrid deployment.

“SDN is the most disruptive and transformative trend to hit the networking industry in over 20 years and Big Switch Networks Open SDN product suite delivers on the promise of the full potential that we envisioned when we started this company,” said Guido Appenzeller, CEO and co-founder of Big Switch Networks.  “Big Switch Networks ecosystem ensures customers the broadest range of choice in physical and virtual infrastructure and applications, coupled with the industry’s only open network application platform. Our Big Virtual Switch network virtualization application enables up to 50% more VMs per rack, resulting in as much as $500K/rack in CAPEX savings and $30K/rack/year OPEX savings, based on a 40 server rack.”

Some highlights of the product suite:


Big Virtual Switch dynamically provisions up to 32,000 Virtual Network Segments while enabling multi-tenancy in cloud infrastructure.  The company estimates the Big Virtual Switch can improve compute utilization by 25% to 50% while rescuing stranded compute capacity providing up to 50%+ more VMs per rack.  It supports a range of topologies including: hypervisor switch overlays, physical switches or Hybrid Network Virtualization, which includes any combination of the above
Big Tap delivers monitoring functions to an Open SDN. Big Tap provides enterprise-wide network visibility by optimizing the utility of security tools, performance tools, and network packet brokers.
Big Network Controller is the Open SDN application platform and includes an open programming interface, open core controller based on Floodlight, and open protocols to deliver unified network intelligence, programmability and scalability.  The Big Network Controller provides common network abstraction on network infrastructure.
  • Big Switch has raised $39 million from Index Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Goldman Sachs and others.  The company was founded in 2010 by Guido Appenzeller and Kyle Forster.


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